Torchwood: The Ghost Machine and the Ghost in the Machine

The third episode of the first season of Torchwood is “Ghost Machine,” which focuses on an alien device that allows a person to experience the powerful emotions connected with a particular place and what people have experienced there. I had been meaning to blog about the episode for several days, and felt compelled to finally [Read More...]

Antievolutionism in the Classroom and around the Blogosphere

My freshman “Faith, Doubt and Reason” class yesterday took an unexpected turn, as a discussion of Paul Tillich’s treatment of symbols in his Dynamics of Faith raised the issue of whether faith is necessary in the natural sciences, which led some students (the vast majority, at least of those who spoke) to express a “lack [Read More...]

The Evidence for a Historical Jesus/Against Mythicism in 400 Characters or Less

A commenter on a video of mine on YouTube is insisting that the evidence for Jesus be presented in YouTube comments, which limit you to a maximum of 400 characters. Having interacted with not only mythicists but also creationists and other detractors from mainstream scholarship on so many occasions, I know that the very reason [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (David Miller)

Science was the best vehicle for determining whether Galileo was right. Church leaders who feared the crumbling of their Aristotelian theologies were not the best persons to make such a determination. Likewise, the discipline of history is the best vehicle for determining the historicity of Adam and Eve. Church leaders who fear the crumbling of [Read More...]

No Dinosaurs in Heaven

Here’s the trailer for a new movie focused on the attempt of religious fundamentalists to hijack science education. The film is called “No Dinosaurs in Heaven.” [Read more...]

God and the Evolution Song vs. Rick Perry

Rick Perry offers unimpressive “answers” to a child’s questions to him about the age of the earth and evolution. I bet that the child could answer them! (HT Jim West) Larry Moran shared his explanation of why evolution is a fact and a theory. Irenicum shared the evolution vs. creationism song: See too Tom Verenna’s [Read More...]

The Miss USA Contestants on Evolution

A colleague of mine in biology shared this video, which brings together all the Miss USA contestants’ answers to the question “Should evolution be taught in schools.” The contestant from my own state of Indiana, Jillian Wunderlich, speaks at the 4:25 mark. Although on the one hand I am dismayed by her lack of knowledge [Read More...]

Appreciating the Scale of the Universe: Practical Implications

From Calm Blue Oceans HT Marc Cortez [Read more...]

Adam and Eve among Evangelicals and around the Blogosphere

A piece on NPR highlights that even Evangelicals are finding it increasingly untenable to persist in maintaining a literal, historical Adam and Eve. Conservative Christians have made this a central issue, and have brought untold shame on Christianity by insisting on the literal truth of the story. I wonder how long it will be before [Read More...]

Artificial Minds and Human Religions

Given the recent release of Religion and Science Fiction, it is timely that I am able to share a chapter of mine from a conference volume which was published in Romania, and which thus will not get a lot of attention elsewhere, but which was a precursor to and overlaps with my chapter in Religion [Read More...]

Why the Scientifically Literate Can Believe Silly Things

Jim Kidder pointed to and quoted from a piece in Discover Magazine by Chris Mooney, and this quote from it is worth circulating widely: If you understand motivated reasoning, then you understand that high levels of knowledge, education, and sophistication are no defense against wrongheaded views like climate change denial and anti-evolutionism.  What I’ll call “sophistication” may [Read More...]


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